Sub-Saharan Africa betwixt and between : rural livelihood practices and policies

TitleSub-Saharan Africa betwixt and between : rural livelihood practices and policies
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsD.F. Bryceson
Series titleASC working paper
Pagination - 73
Date Published1999///
PublisherAfrican Studies Centre
Place PublishedLeiden
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsAfrica, Agricultural development, household income, rural households, Subsaharan Africa

Drawing on research findings emanating from the De-Agrarianisation and Rural Employment (DARE) Research Programme, coordinated by the African Studies Centre, Leiden, this paper compares changing economic and social patterns in a wide variety of rural settlements in sub-Saharan Africa. Recently emerged or refashioned income diversification tendencies are highlighted and linked to the blurring of strong rural-urban contrasts. After a schematic consideration of continental trends, followed by a more detailed examination of rural livelihood patterns, the author teases out some of the major tensions embedded in the broad-based reorientation of rural livelihoods, leading to a discussion of how effective current government and donor policies are in addressing this rural transformation. The conclusion returns to the issue of sub-Saharan Africa's 'betwixt-and-between' status (the balancing act of African rural dwellers caught in between farm and nonfarm, family and individual, and rural and urban contrasts), arguing that the uncertainty could be alleviated with a more directional policy approach, an approach that facilitates provisioning of rural households and communities local-level, daily needs, and strengthens public policy, training facilities and infrastructure for future occupational diversification and specialization


Bibliogr.: p. 53-58. - Met bijl., noten

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